It had to happen...check out the video above.
As BiteSite gets more and more into scripted works, we're starting to realize the huge benefit of using a very powerful yet simple tool: Storyboards. Storyboards are a great way to answer a lot of questions and in this article we're going to explore why and how we use them.
Why bother doing storyboards?
The biggest reason we use storyboards is it gives us a preview of what the final video will look like and let us know if our vision will actually work. When you write a script and have a vague idea of what your visuals are going to look like, it's not enough to dictate what shots you're going to use and if they'll work together in the final edit.
Storyboards to the rescue!
Storyboards are a cheap way early in the production to figure out exactly what it is you're going to shoot. When you're on set, busy with squeezing in 30 or 40 shots in a 10 hour day, it can be hard to keep track of the bigger vision. By doing storyboards, you're guaranteeing that up front, your vision is going to work. Once you get to the set, things get very expensive and if you're not sure your vision is going to work, things could get very difficult.
When you do your storyboards and base your shots on your storyboards - you can concentrate on getting great shots and not whether or not things are going to flow together.
How do we use storyboards?
It's a pretty simple process that we employ at BiteSite.
- Everything starts with the script and a visual ideas. The script will give us a vague idea of what we'll be seeing on screen.
- Then using the script, we'll draw storyboards using either simple pencil and paper, or apps like Paper for iPad.
- After the storyboards are done, we'll sometimes edit them together in Final Cut Pro and put music to it to see how everything fits together.
- If all goes well, we'll base our shot list directly on the shots we see in the storyboard edit.
You don't have to be a professional storyboard artist to see how things are going to work. Just some simple drawings to guide you.
Our latest project with App8 showed that we stuck very close to the storyboards and we were very happy with the results.
So if you find yourself working on a video production, take some time to layout your ideas using storyboards. It'll make the shoot go a lot smoother and you'll end up with a great video in the end.
Be sure to checkout out our video above to see a side by side comparison of the App8 Promo Video storyboards and the final video.
BiteSite has been in business for over 6 years now and we've had the amazing privilege of making a lot of corporate videos for a variety of clients.
When we started, we had a less formal process but we definitely found it important to get at the heart of what our clients were trying to say. Whenever we had a kick-off concept meeting, our goal was always to leave that meeting with the confidence that we could sell our clients' products or services.
It was that passion for our clients' culture and message that led to a surprising benefit that a couple of our clients have now commented on.
One key part to our process is having a collaborative concepting meeting where we ask our clients questions like "What is your key message you're trying to convey?", "What is the culture or mood that you'd like to evoke?", and "Who is your key audience?" In doing this, we get a good picture of everything that our clients are about. We really try to buy into everything to the point where we feel like a small part of our clients' companies.
Although I have not worked directly for marketing firms, I would imagine this is a common messaging exercise.
Distilling it down
Where things get interesting in terms of video production is that we introduce the constraints of video. Most video aims to be short and easy to consume. We're talking in the neighbourhood of 30 seconds to a couple of minutes max. So with these constraints in mind, our next step is to ask our clients tough questions about what is truly essential. We ask them "Are there certain aspects of your messaging, your culture, your services that we can cut out?" For some clients, this comes really easily, while others have to make tough decisions. When it comes down to it, when you have such a short time to communicate a message, you want it to be simple and short.
Don't make the mistake of trying to cram everything you can into one video.
The Surprising Benefit
So after going through the exercise, you end up with a nice, simple, well-thought out and concise message. You end up with a quick way to communicate exactly what it is you're trying to get across. Once you have this, you can now apply elsewhere: to other marketing materials, to your presentations, and to your daily conversations.
So even though your ultimate goal is to end up with a video that you can share around the world, making a corporate video has the added benefit of putting your through an exercise that forces you to think and communicate in simpler, easier to understand, well-thought out terms.
Thanks for reading.